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GSR BPG on regulatory uplift for financing digital

28.09.2021

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GSR-21 Best practice guidelines on Regulatory uplift for financing digital infrastructure, access and use

Digital technologies are now powering our economies and the way we live – our very future.

Digitalization is fast revolutionizing productivity, employment, skills, services and markets. It changes the means of production, methods of delivery, lifestyles, patterns of consumption and the fabric of social intercourse. ICTs are now the foundation for every economic sector, for business performance and for national growth. This change is profound. Collaborative digital regulation addresses the complexity and the opportunity of this change through flexible and enabling policy frameworks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined how important reliable broadband is to people and businesses. Investment in rolling out and upgrading ICT infrastructure to deploy superfast broadband networks to meet future needs is vital to ensuring affordable access and expanding digitalization for social and economic good.

We, the regulators participating in the 21st Global Symposium for Regulators, recognize that there is no single, comprehensive blueprint for best practice and that regulatory patterns for the digital transformation will be rooted in local circumstances while addressing regional and global challenges. Recalling the series of GSR Best Practice Guidelines since 2003 that capture established regulatory principles, expertise and tried-and-tested practices, our focus is on novel, bold and ground-breaking approaches and tools for digital regulation.

We have collectively identified and endorsed these regulatory best practice guidelines to continue setting the gold standard for digital regulation. We are more engaged than ever to put these to work to build the digital momentum in the Decade of Action.

I. Inducing new, effective and agile financing mechanisms to digital infrastructure, access and use

Government and private industry are making significant investments to upgrade digital infrastructures and promote access for all, to deliver more reliable, resilient, high-capacity Internet to homes, government offices and businesses. However, achieving universal connectivity will require new enablers and a holistic perspective.

  1. The role of government is to clear the way to such investment and support a vibrant, competitive markets for future-proof broadband and digital services. On the other hand, regulators and policy makers might need to adopt alternative approaches to spur investment in non-commercial or challenging areas.

Policies and strategies can trigger the multiplier effect of digital by providing predictability and direction

Investment is the cornerstone of the digital transformation

Regulatory tools are at hand to bridge the funding and financing gap in digital markets

A sharp focus on policy implementation is needed to ensure impact

Regulatory basics still apply

II Prototyping regulatory patterns for the post-COVID digital world

The post-COVID digital world needs a new take on regulation. New approaches may be needed to enhance regulatory foresight, harness data to target interventions and create space for regulators and industry to experiment together. This is key in finding market solutions to new challenges as new technologies, business models and players continue to test existing regulatory paradigms. Such new approaches will build sound solutions that protects consumers while encouraging market growth and innovation.

Novel regulatory tools can unlock the power of new and emerging technologies

Spectrum innovation is key for the digital future

Data is the silver bullet of digital regulation

III Transformational leadership to unleash the power of emerging technologies and business models

Technology developments and economic disruptions in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 crisis are affecting policy settings. Investment gaps and scarce available funding for digital infrastructure and services are exacerbating the need to review policy and regulatory frameworks beyond national boundaries or sectors. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for agile, responsive regulatory action and leadership.

Digital policies and regulation hold a three-fold promise – as a tool for driving the digital transformation of the economy; as a framework for the digital transformation of regulators and regulatory governance; and as an interface for cross-border collaboration and coordination on thorny issues related to digital markets.

Transformational leadership will be rooted in new and revisited approaches to digital and collaborative regulation.

Regulators and policy makers are the master builders of the digital transformation

A regulatory paradigm shift is needed to deliver on the digital dividend for all

Given the borderless nature of the digital economy, introducing international and regional cooperation mechanisms with a focus on addressing the thorny issues related to digital trade, data protection, Internet of things and taxation will allow 5th generation collaborative regulation (G5) span geographies and markets to facilitate cross-border collaboration.

National regulators and policy makers have a role to play at the international arena

Last updated on: 11.10.2021